When you were deciding which university to go to, how many open days did you go on? Is it true that if you go at the weekend or out of term time, there's no point going? It's just that surely it's a good idea to visit as many unis as possible out of the ones you're interested in, but you can't afford to miss too much school with AS-levels coming up. As you've probably guessed, I'm in Year 12, so we should be nagged by our teachers about UCAS etc pretty soon after we go back...
I went and saw every University I applied to at some point. I went to a summer school thing at Surrey and on a few visit days/engineering taster days to Newcastle. I also visited Cambridge with my school on an Oxbridge trip, then saw it again when I went for my interview. My other choices - Warwick, Bath and York - I went and visited at open days and I'm really glad I did. I'm pretty sure the Warwick one was out of term time, and I didn't really notice many students at the York one, but it was nice to visit to get a feel for the places anyway. In total, I guess I missed a couple of days of fifth year (year 12) for visiting Newcastle, then about 8 in sixth year (year 13), quite a lot of which was travelling (Bath took 3 days - one to get there, one to look round and one to get back!!!). Didn't find it a problem at all though and my teachers were very understanding.
Overall, I reckon if you can visit your Universities it's a great idea - if you have to go out of term time, fair enough, it's better than nothing. Oh, and incidentally I'm now at Warwick so it can't have been that bad! Hope that helps a bit.
We had a whole year trip to Birmingham university, but out of the ones i have applied to (im in yr 13), iv only so far been to see 1 of them, as i didnt think there was much point in going when you dont have a offer yet. Although if your unsure about applying somewhere you probably should go and visit. But you'll get invited if they give you offers, so its just a waste of time and money.
I have sent all the open day reply slips back to the unis. I will probably go to all of them. Two of my opendays is during holidays so itz cool.
I visited Warwick on an open day and it was fantastic so I'm applying there. I also visited Aston and Oxford on normal days and still managed to get a feel for the cities etc, so it's worth doing if its not to far to travel...plus going with mates can be a laugh.
L'boro and Leeds have invited me to open days and I'll definately go to them aswell as any others I get offers from.
I applied to 6 unis and visited 5 out of the 6 (visited warwick twice and southampton 3 times- it was either warwick or southampton that I wanted to go to, but I chose warwick in the end).
Its well worth visiting unis, missing 6 days of term on open days is a hell of a lot better than regretting the next 3+ years of your life.
We're only allowed 2 per term as well.
Went to 4 out of 6 I applied to plus I was also made to go to Queen Mary's by my 6th form.
book for open days during the summer holidays, although most are during spring (ie during school time- but missing one or 2 days is ok).
oh actually- there may be some open days AFTER your summer exams, but during the term where you come back to school to start your A2 work (ie just before the summer holidays) - that's quite a good time.
and if youre applying for Oxbridge, (or mediicne, dentistry or vet sci) then you wont have that much time after you come back - so what you wanna do is decide your course by spring/summer and have an idea of unis and then get your AS results and start writing your personal statement.
some unis usually let your have a wander around, unofficially (ie not an open day), the campus etc during holidays - but it is likely to be very quite with no staff or students - only do this if the uni is close and you just want a feel for what the uni/place is like.
also you might actually be invited to go to interview, and they may give you a tour. and they might also have post-offer open days
I went to 2 open days and I decided not to apply to either of those unis!
I also had visited 3 other unis, unofficially.
I visited 2 out of 6, and only after I'd got offers from them. I'd been to another 2 for different reasons before that though.
I went to 6 universities and applied to 4 of them, and applied to one I didn't visit but never intended going there. Go to as many as possible that you think you may really want to go to, and post offer open days are always good to decide between firm/insurance choice etc.
If you don't go to an open day, it's ok. There is always course information on the course website, and pictures of the department, labs, uni, etc...